The Electronic Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) was implemented to provide a single border for all Schengen countries. It is a visa waiver program that spans all countries within the Schengen Zone, which includes most (but not all) countries in the European Union and a large number of nations in Europe.
If you are visiting the Netherlands from outside of the Schengen Zone and European Union, you may need to apply for an ETIAS visa waiver before you will be granted access.
ETIAS Visa Waiver for the Netherlands
Not only did the Netherlands sign the Schengen agreement, but it was actually a founding member. It was also one of the founding members of the European Union.
If you are one of the 19 million+ tourists that visit the Netherlands every year, you may need to apply for an ETIAS visa waiver.
The application process can be completed online and it typically takes less than 10 minutes, with authorization granted soon thereafter.
The ETIAS visa waiver system requires a valid passport with at least 3 months of validity remaining. Once the authorization has been granted, you will be allowed to travel to the Netherlands and other countries within the Schengen Area at any time within the next 3 years (or until your passport expires).
You can stay for up to 90 days within any 180-day period and as it is a multi-entry authorization, you will be able to return as many times as you want and use it to access other countries in the Schengen area, including France, Italy, Greece, and Spain.
What About Holland?
The Netherlands is a country; Holland is just a region. Despite this, many people mistakenly refer to the country as “Holland”.
It’s akin to using “England” to refer to the United Kingdom (which also includes Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland), but while that will almost certainly offend the Scottish, Irish, and Welsh, the Dutch don’t seem to mind the confusion as much.
Sure, it can become a sticking point and it’s a mistake that’s not as common as it was a number of years ago, but it’s unlikely to cause any great distress if you make this mistake and most people will know what you mean.
Visiting the Netherlands with an ETIAS Visa Waiver
There are a few stereotypes about the Netherlands and its people. One of the most unfortunate is that it’s a country of excess and hedonism, stemming from the seedier side of cities like Amsterdam. Thankfully, this stereotype is rare, and most people see the Netherlands for what it actually is, which is a beautiful and liberal nation.
The other stereotype is that the Netherlands is very friendly and kind, and while it’s fair to say that every Dutch person wouldn’t fit that mold (as is the case everywhere else) they are certainly a very friendly and welcoming people on the whole.
The Dutch also have a very good grasp of English and most people in the Netherlands speak the language very well.
What are the Best Attractions in the Netherlands?
Amsterdam is often the first port of call for visitors to the Netherlands. It is a liberal and friendly city and is famed for its canals, coffee shops, and museums. But there’s more to the Netherlands than Amsterdam.
Rotterdam, Utrecht, and The Hague are also worth a visit, and you’ll find a lot of beauty in cities like Haarlem and Eindhoven, as well.
In general, Netherlands has a long and rich history. It was one of Europe’s biggest nations in the 16th and 17th centuries, when it built a massive maritime empire and expanded its borders, producing a wealth of great buildings, technological and scientific advancements, and art. You can see all of this in the country’s many museums.
The Netherlands also has a rich sporting history, with football/soccer and field hockey leading the way in most regions.
Is the Netherlands a Safe Country?
The Netherlands is a very safe country. As with all nations, you will need to keep your guard up if you are a tourist, as you may be targeted by scammers and pickpockets, but on the whole, it’s one of the safest countries in the world.
Traveling to Other Countries with a Netherlands ETIAS
The Netherlands shares borders with Germany and Belgium, both of which have signed the Schengen Agreement.
Once you have your ETIAS visa waiver for the Netherlands, you will be able to hop over the border and explore these countries, with cities like Munich, Berlin, Bruges, and Brussels just a train ride or car journey away.